Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 30th, 2005

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End drive-by stabbings: ban knives!

"If you ban guns, they will come after knives next." There was a time when this was dismissed as hyperbole from firearm-rights supporters. Not any more. There is a move in Great Britain to ban pointed kitchen knives. (See this story on CNN and this story on BBC.)

Knife banners argue that pointed kitchen knives are not "needed". They consulted ten top chefs during their research and concluded that the pointed knives "have little practical value in the kitchen".

So if a common household tool is "not needed" and could be used as a weapon, that is a justification for banning it?

Gun-rights supporters have been saying for years that the problem is not guns; the problem is violent criminals. The mantra in support of the right to keep and bear arms is "guns don't kill people. People kill people." As England has found, making firearms difficult to obtain has only made criminals look for other things to use as weapons. If pointed kitchen knives are banned, criminals will find something else to use as a weapon.

Here is the United States, the justification for banning so-called "assault weapons" is that no one "needs" an assault weapon and that they are too commonly used as weapons. The similarities to the proposed pointed kitchen knife ban are eerie.

Once you establish a precedent that is used to restrict civil liberties for "safety" or "public health" or "national security", that precedent can then be used to restrict civil liberties even further. (Kind of like how the next logical step in smoking bans is to ban smoking in homes with children.) Decades ago, the idea of banning kitchen knives would have been laughed at. Today, what was once seen as hyperbole is now reality, because the Nanny State is killing common sense.